Kash Raja from Wallsend joined St Oswald’s Hospice, based in Gosforth, in January this year as a volunteer Nurse on our Inpatient Unit.
Kash retired from NHS nursing two years ago at the age of 70 but last year decided he wanted to do something worthwhile with his time and skills so signed up as a volunteer
Kash tells us more about why he decided to become a volunteer during a pandemic and how he’s still learning new skills after 46 years of nursing. Kash said:
“I worked as a Staff Nurse in A&E at the RVI, Newcastle General Hospital and North Tyneside Hospital for 46 years and after a year of retirement I decided to return to nursing in a voluntary role.
“I was aware of St Oswald’s Hospice through my previous work as a nurse and someone I knew had benefitted from their care. While he was at the Hospice I visited him and he was so happy. He had so much praise for the place and the staff and he was so well looked after. When I decided to volunteer I thought of him and knew the Hospice would be the ideal place.
“I currently volunteer on the Inpatient Ward two mornings a week and have done so for almost five months now. It’s great to be working with patients again and helping to make sure they’re comfortable. I obviously joined during the pandemic but I’ve always felt very safe and supported – the Hospice follow all the necessary guidance to make sure we’re all kept safe. I’ve never felt worried or nervous going in.
“Even though I was a nurse my entire career I still find that at the age of 72 I’m learning new things each week. A&E is very different to a hospice and it was a completely different type of nursing. It was so fast paced and pressured whereas at the Hospice it’s peaceful, we have more time to care for the patients, spend one-on-one time with them and meet their needs. Even though it’s a new challenge for me I get great pleasure from volunteering and find it rewarding.
“The team at St Oswald’s are really lovely, they all work well together and always help me out and support me if I have a question. The level of care they provide is amazing. When I’m volunteering I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with my time which gives me a lot of satisfaction. I enjoy getting out and meeting people as well which is why I’m also currently volunteering administering COVID-19 vaccines two days a week and I’m a Trustee for the local Tynemouth Mencap Society”.
HUGE thanks to Kash for everything he does for us and for sharing his story.
To find out more about volunteering at St Oswald’s Hospice please visit our volunteering section.